I am preparing raster surfaces to do a multi criteria evaluation in ArcGIS 10. I need to create a raster surface that contains distance values for each cell from the electricity grid. However, my data for the grid is contained in two shapefiles - a point file (e.g. poles, pylons) and a line file (electricity lines). I can't merge the vector files because they are different types.

Is there a way of creating a raster surface where each cell value is the distance from any part of the grid; e.g. distance from a point or a line?

  • Convert the vectors to raster, merge them, then run a Euclidean distance against that (you'll need the Spatial Analyst externsion). – Vince Jan 6 '17 at 12:53

As you say, you cannot merge points with lines. one workaround would be to create a very small buffer arount your points and your lines, then merge and go ahead. However, I would rather compute the Euclidian distance to the points and to the lines, then compute the minimum of the two distance layers (which is the minimum distance to any feature) using the cell statistics tool.

  • Thanks! That's really helpful and has solved the issue for me. I can apply that to other similar situations I am trying to deal with as well – J_Ski Jan 6 '17 at 13:59

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